Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport, or DHellTA Airlines

Sometimes a lawyer has to travel two days for a five minute hearing. This is one of those days.

I was in a small mountain town called Luray, VA for a 5 minute hearing this morning, to get to it, I flew Delta in from Detroit to Baltimore yesterday afternoon on a tic from ORBITZ - $170 round trip, not bad.

Anyway. I arrived in Baltimore at 4:30, drove three (!) hours to George Mason University Law School Law Library in Arlington.... only to find it was closed shortly after I arrived. (I went there because their Virginia Criminal Law collection is excellent.) So. It's 7:30 PM and I have tons of research to do to prep for court. All the other law schools are closed except for one. CUA.

Woudnchaknowit that they were OPEN at 8:30 and would remain so until 11:00 PM? Sometimes all that tuition money wasted is forgiven.

So. Anyway. Two hours later, 1:00 AM, I'm driving on Route 50 looking for a fleabag when a cop pulls me over because "you're weaving all over the road, sir." He puts me through the Alcohol Test Calesthetics, makes me blow the breathalyzer, I'm totally clean. He's actually pretty cool. "Look, sir, I'm giving you a choice. A ticket for reckless driving for driving when sleepy, or you go stay at that hotel across the street." It's a HILTON but what the hell. $170 a room is cheaper than a traffic conviction. I think.

So. 0600 I'm up and driving to Luray, a two hour plus drive, with my old first law partner. We're there at 8:30, and I've had about 3 venti coffees and a giant Redbull. Fine and dandy. I meet the client, go to court, talk to client again, and then drive back to the airport.

Problem; I leave Luray at 1:00 PM, and my plane leaves at 5:00 PM. And traffic is awful.

As I drive I start to get text messages. "Your flight has been delayed 15 minutes." "Your flight has been delayed an additional 20 minutes." "Your flight now leaves at 6:00." Fortunately, too, as I arrive at the airport 5 minutes after the flight originally was supposed to left. I'm lucky. Thank God for Orbitz.

So we stay on the ground.... rain and thunderboomers in Detroit. We stay on the ground.... rain and thunderboomers again. Finally we pull into the penalty box.... "Ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry to report that our avionics are showing a malfunction. I think it's instrumentation, but...." (Visions of Apollo XIII in my head.) "We're pulling back to the terminal so a mechanic can look at it.".....

....7:15 "Ladies and gentlemen, the mechanic we got is not trained to fix this particular problem, we're waiting for another one to come from maintenance."

....7:30 "Ladies and gentlemen, we are awaiting the arrival of a Delta agent to help you reset your connecting flights...."

....7:40 "Ladies and gentlemen, we're awaiting the arrival of a spare from the warehouse, we'll be another 5 minutes...."

....8:10 "Ladies and gentlemen, please, be patient. Anyone wishing to leave the flight may do so. However, if you do, we must consider that you have abandoned the flight and you will not receive a refund."

....8:30 "Ladies and gentlemen, the flight crew is now distributing sweets and soft drinks through the aircraft. We will be underway shortly."

....8:40 "Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform that the current flight crew has reached its statutory daily flight time maximum, a new crew will be arriving shortly...."

....8:55 "Ladies and gentlemen, please return your trays to the upright locked position and gather your belongings. ... you will be permitted to leave the aircraft. Remain in the terminal area as the new crew will be arriving in 15 minutes."

....9:10 "Ladies and gentlemen, we have determined that the aircraft no longer has a sufficient number of lemon-scented hand napkins on board...."

Actually, that last is a Douglas Adams reference. What they actually said was:

....9:10 "Ladies and gentlemen, the new flight crew will not be available until 11:45 tonight. You are free to leave this part of the terminal..."

Naturally all the restaurants in this GD airport closed at 9:00.

So I'm sitting here, still in Baltimore, I having a diabetic meltdown, havent had so much as a breadstick since 1:00 PM, and. I. will. never. fly. frakking. Delta. ever. again.


1 comment:

  1. Next time you fly, try United. My brother flies United every time he travels from California, and I haven't heard complaints about the airline service (I think).


Keep it clean for gene.